From the well-known Asia circle that is mainly visited by backpackers (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam), Laos has been the underdog for years. You may have heard of Luang Prabang, known for…
The still relatively unknown Laos borders China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar. Travelers who end up in this country usually do so because they are touring one of these other countries in addition to Laos. But Laos is more than a transit country. Not only is the climate here wonderful, Laos is also a country rich in nature that is mainly covered by mountainous areas. Due to the lack of good roads, the inhabitants usually travel on the rivers. The Mekong River is Laos' largest waterway and lifeline. The mostly Buddhist population in Laos is known for its friendliness and helpfulness. Good to remember: the feet are seen as the 'lowest' part of the body. Never pointing your feet at anyone, that is seen as very disrespectful.
The working population consists mainly of farmers who live on the yields from the harvest. The government does not want to attract massive tourists, like neighboring Thailand. The infrastructure is far from sufficient for this and the government is realizing that. Careful efforts are being made to expand facilities such as hotels, better roads and services.
Imperial City Luang Prabang
Capital Vientiane is a colonial city where you can still see and feel the French influences of yesteryear. Don't be surprised if you see someone just eating a croissant. The city is full of beautiful temples. You will also find the historic royal city of Luang Prabang here. Other important towns are Champassak, Pakse, Kaysone Phomvihane and Phonsavan. If you come from Thailand, your journey through Laos will probably start in the border town of Huay Xai. Here you can take the 'slowboat' to the south. This tour is seen by many travelers as the highlight of their trip in Laos.
Mountains and Rivers
Nature in Laos has two faces: rivers and mountains. On the one hand, the mountainous area largely determines the landscape and that is not a bad thing at all. For example, the Bolaven Plateau is a beautiful area in central Laos. On the other hand, the Mekong and all its branches is the blood that runs through Laos' veins. Visit Si Phan Don, the 4000 islands in southern Laos. Throughout the country, the wooded banks and rocky outcrops along the rivers provide a beautiful spectacle.